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Ragin' Cajun Serves Crawfish With Tales

June 24, 1993|ANNE MICHAUD | Anne Michaud is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition

Chef Cliff Huffstetler, who opened the Ragin' Cajun Cafe in Newport Beach on Wednesday, plans to serve up Cajun stories with his etouffee. There's the time, for example, that his mother was chased out of the yard by water moccasins.

"Cajun people like to have a good time," said Huffstetler, who hails from outside Baton Rouge, La. But, while storytelling is important, "we like to work our tails off, too."

Huffstetler used to own the Ragin' Cajun diner in Worcester, Mass., but closed it and moved to California about a year and a half ago. His new cafe has moved into the space formerly occupied by the Vegetable Patch in the food court at Birch Street and Von Karman Avenue.

Open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Ragin' Cajun will offer lunch for about $5 or $6. Dishes include jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo, crawfish etouffee, dirty rice and spicy fried chicken.

The chef says he also makes a great pork-and-alligator dish with sauce piquant, but he's having a little trouble finding a local supply of the reptile.

4881 Birch St. (714) 476-8284.

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Restaurant Antoine will hold a winemaker dinner Friday, with guest Bo Barrett of California vineyard Chateau Montelena. The winery's 1973 Chardonnay captured first place over France's white Burgundies in a 1976 Paris taste test.

Chateau Montelena also produces a line of popular Cabernets.

Antoine chef Jean Pierre Lemanissier will prepare a dinner to complement the wines. A reception begins at 7, and dinner is at 7:45. The price is $85 per person, plus tax and tip.

Le Meridien Hotel, 4500 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach. (714) 476-2001, Ext. 2158.

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Pero's in Huntington Beach will hold a reception Monday night to celebrate the opening of an exhibit by photographer Roger Camp at the restaurant. Camp, who teaches at Golden West College, plans to include a series of photographs taken over a five-year period from the Huntington Beach pier.

The reception, free and open to the public, is from 6 to 8 p.m., and includes wine and appetizers. The exhibit will be on display until Aug. 29.

Seacliff Village, 2221 N. Main St. (714) 960-7764.

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